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Pali & English
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Edited and translated by Hermann Oldenberg, 1879; reprinted in 2000.
The first attempt to put together history and legend in verse and to make a continuous chronicle about Sri Lanka. The Dipavamsa is thought to have been written between the beginning of the 4th and the early part of the 5th centuries. Over 1500 years later, this book is not only valuable to scholars, it is still a compelling, lyrical story and fun for anyone to read.
The translation is published with the text.
F rom the text:"I will set forth the history of Buddha's coming to the Island, of the arrival of the relic and of the branch, of the doctrine of the teachers who made the recensions (of Dhamma and Vinaya), of the propagation of the Faith in the Island, of the arrival of the chief; listen. Listen attentively to the history proclaimed by me, which inspires joy and delight, which causes serenity and gladdens the mind, which comprises many various forms. With elated minds, satisfied, delighted and joyful, attentively receive the faultless, auspicious discourse. Listen all, giving your minds to the subject, I will proclaim a history, handed down from generation to generation, highly praised, adorned in many ways, joined together in this work, just as flowers of various kinds form a garland. Attend to this incomparable praise of the Island (Ceylon), which dwells upon the most excellent successions of teachers and kings, which is new and unrivaled and well-narrated, which has been handed down by Saints, which is praised by all good people and revered by the holy ones.